ETC fund dialysis treatment in Nambucca Valley

Eddie and Joan Addison applaud the efforts of ETC's Lorraine Mouafi and Nambucca Valley Dialysis Group secretary Rhona Freeman.
Eddie and Joan Addison applaud the efforts of ETC's Lorraine Mouafi and Nambucca Valley Dialysis Group secretary Rhona Freeman.

THE ETC Community Support fund has given a much needed shot in the arm to the long running campaign for dialysis treatment to be provided in the Nambucca Valley.

The local dialysis group has received $7,000 from ETC to go towards training nurses in treatment and patient support.

Group secretary Rhona Freeman said she had been advocating for dialysis treatment to be provided in the Nambucca Valley for 19 years.

"There is no dialysis unit at the Macksville hospital although we have been promised one for the past 15 years," she said.

"There are about 20 dialysis patients in our area who currently have to travel to either Coffs Harbour or Kempsey for treatment, three times a week, or they have dialysis at home.

"We've got people here who've been told they have to go on a waiting list to be dialysed in Coffs Harbour, which is not just a sin, it's a mortal sin."

Mrs Freeman is currently negotiating with a local doctor to provide the much needed treatment.

"Doctor Mark Smith can currently accommodate three chairs on dialysis units in his surgery," she said.

"Coffs Harbour Health Campus will provide the nursing staff and machines and funding from ETC will help train additional support staff.

"All we need now is the green light from the Mid North Coast Area Health Service for it to go ahead."

Nambucca resident Joan Addison is just one local resident thrilled at the prospect.

Joan is currently on home dialysis because she has the support of her partially-blind husband, Eddie.

Travel to Kempsey or Coffs Harbour for hospital visits means three trips each week for up to four hours of treatment.

ETC director Lorraine Mouafi encouraged Nambucca Valley residents to apply for funding.

"Helping people like the Nambucca Valley Dialysis Group is what the ETC Community Support fund is all about," she said.

"Organisations can apply for up to $15,000 each and applications would be assessed based on how well they meet a range of principles.

"There are so many organisations out there doing amazing work and we would love to be able to support them."

Applications for the current round of ETC Community Support funding close on Thursday, February 28.

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